School of Trade negotiations

School of WTO Research and Education (SWTO)


The School of WTO Research and Education (SWTO) is China’s first academic institution of its kind dedicated to WTO researches and education. SWTO aims at preparing professionals proficient in foreign languages, adaptive to the trend of internationalization, familiar with international laws and policies with a focus on the WTO rules and regulations, and following closely the latest development in the world economy.

Drawing upon the traditional strengths of the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT) in WTO researches and utilizing the teaching resources from home and abroad, SWTO offers WTO education programs in collaboration with SIFT’s graduate programs of International Trade, Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Finance, and International Law. Designed by the WTO Secretariat, the curriculum of SWTO is in line with that of world’s leading universities in the field of WTO researches and education. SWTO maintains close relationship with the University of Barcelona and cooperates with it in its master program of International Economic Law and Policy, one of the most highly recognized master programs of its kind in the world. Each year, there are SWTO graduates admitted to the program.

SWTO attaches great importance to researches and has established an array of academic research bodies such as the “China-WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism Research Center” (in partnership with the Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center), “China-WTO Trade Policy Review Center” and “WTO and The Research Centre for the Internationalization of Chinese Enterprises, (in partnership with the City University of Hong Kong) and “WTO Literature Translation Center”. A great number of researches have been carried out and fruitful results made by these research bodies.

SWTO gives top priority to developing and strengthening its cooperation with the WTO Secretariat. Various academic events have been jointly held by the WTO Secretariat and SWTO, among which are “2007 Conference on WTO Affairs for Chinese Professors and Professionals”, “2007 WTO-Oriented Curriculum Development Program for Chinese Professors” and “Shanghai Postgraduates’ Education and Innovation Program & WTO Chairs Program – SIFT National Summer School for the WTO-Oriented Postgraduates”. Some SWTO students have been selected as interns for the WTO Secretariat.


In November 2009, SIFT was informed by the WTO Secretariat that after fierce competition with over 70 universities all over the world, it was selected as one of the 14 chairs worldwide and the Dean of SWTO, Professor Zhang Lei, was selected as the chair holder of the WTO Chairs Program (WCP) initiated by the WTO. By carrying out the chair program, SWTO is able to be integrated into the core of the Secretariat global academic network, and embark on a new development path.


SWTO is committed to expanding international cooperation. In addition to developing partnership with some of the major WTO research and education institutions worldwide, SWTO also plays its part in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Virtual Institute (UNCTAD VI) and the UNESCAP Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network (ARTNeT). SWTO has established cooperative relationship with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). One of the SWTO faculty members was elected WIPO arbitrator in November 2010